Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Arsenal vs Dortmund
Arsenal know a victory will secure them qualification to the knockout stages of the competition and will therefore look to field a strong team. After another poor showing over the weekend, Per Mertesacker could be dropped for Laurent Koscielny while Gervinho and Mikel Arteta could be rested in place of Tomas Rosicky and Marouane Chamakh.
The Gunners have no new injury concerns but still lack the expertise of long-term absentees Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby.
Visiting boss Jurgen Klopp may well want to continue with a similar side to that which beat their title rivals Bayern Munich 1-0 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday. Their main injury concern involves defender Neven Subotic, who is likely to be out of action until the new year due to a facial injury suffered against Wolfsburg earlier in the month.
Arsenal are so far undefeated in the group stage of the Champions League, winning two and drawing two. Every other team in Group F has lost at least one match.
Tomas Rosicky, who could feature against his former team, scored against Arsenal when he played for Borussia Dortmund in the 2002-03 season.
Both Arsenal and Dortmund had poor starts to the season but have regained form of late; the German outfit are unbeaten in eight games while the Gunners have won five of their last six in all competitions.
Arsenal’s captain Robin van Persie has scored 31 goals in 2011, averaging 1.07 strikes per game.
Dortmund were the first German team to win the Champions League after the reformation of the tournament in 1992, triumphing in 1997.
The first game between the sides ended in a 1-1 draw after Dortmund snatched a late equaliser.
Arsenal’s only two clean sheets in their last eight games have come in the Champions League while Dortmund have kept five in their last eight fixtures.